Call for Papers 2021

Dear HSAC Members and Friends:

We are happy to announce that, after missing our annual conference in 2020, we will be back at Congress in 2021. Our annual conference will be held virtually between May 27 and May 29, 2021. We hope you can join us. The theme of this year’s conference is “Hungary: Northern Relations.” Please see the attached Call for Papers for more information on our theme and the conference format.

Presentation proposals are due February 1, and the conference programme committee will notify you of their decision no later than February 20. Proposals should include a maximum 300-word abstract and a brief 100-word bio that can be used to introduce the speaker. Proposals should be sent electronically both to the Chair of the Program Committee, Steven Jobbitt ( ), and to the Vice-President of HSAC, Christopher Adam ( Proposals are preferred in English or French but will also be accepted in Hungarian if an English language abstract is also provided.

We look forward to welcoming you virtually at this year’s annual conference.

Wishing you the very best,

The HSAC Executive

Hungarian Studies Association of Canada (HSAC)
Call for Papers for the 2021 Annual Conference
Hosted by the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta

Hungary: Northern Relations

The Hungarian Studies Association of Canada invites proposals for individual papers, posters, roundtable discussions, workshops, complete panels, and other innovative presentations and sessions for our annual conference to be held virtually in conjunction with the Congress of Social Sciences and Humanities hosted by the University of Alberta
in Edmonton, May 29-May 31, 2021.

As an association of scholars and teachers interested in Hungarian Studies, we have chosen to investigate an aspect of Hungarian culture and history that resonates with the Congress theme (see below), an aspect that is rarely, if ever, thematized: “Hungary: Northern Relations.” This theme, with its ambiguity of ethno-cultural and historic-
geographic implications, may be interpreted in many different ways. We wish to follow the line of thought of the cultural/political philosopher Béla Hamvas, born in Eperjes (Prešov/Preschau) and raised in Pozsony (Bratislava/Pressburg), who in his essay “Az öt géniusz” [The Five Geniuses], wrote about the cultural influences of the landscapes, climates and peoples of the various regions of Hungary and the lands beyond the borders in the four cardinal directions, plus Transylvania. In his view, it was the balance of these five cultural influences that might have, but never did, result in a kind of ideal of Hungarian culture.

The characteristics that the “North” brought to Hungarian culture Hamvas characterized as “closeness to nature” and “sensitivity.” He specified the “North” beyond the old borders specifically as Poland, the Baltic countries and Finland, and given that so much ink has been spilled on relations with, say, Germany and Russia, we will follow him in this, with the addition of the Czech-Moravian lands and the Scandinavian countries. Some examples of topics that could be treated in sessions and/or papers include the traditional trope of “Magyar-Lengyel Barátság,” Transylvanian-Polish dynastic connections; Hungarian-Polish, Hungarian-Czech, Hungarian-Baltic, and Hungarian-Scandinavian cultural and historic relations. If the latter theme sounds obscure, it could include anything from Raoul Wallenberg and Rädda Barnen (Save the Children Sweden), to the Hungarian-Swedish Bauhaus architect Fred Forbáth, the history of Hungarian Scandinavists (such as our own George Bisztray), and the expatriated students of Budapest Technical University at the end of 1944 who ended up in Denmark, etc. There is also, of course, the many possibilities of Hungarian-Finnish linguistic and cultural connections that can be explored.

This topic has become especially salient now, given Hungary’s position within the EU, whether it is the “Visegrád Four” (which, after all, involves countries only to the north of Hungary), and Hungary and Poland’s current outlier status within the EU. Naturally, a central aspect of this Congress theme would be Slovakia: old Upper Hungary (Felvidék).
Topics such as the deep, shared culture and history of the two nations, Hungarian-Slovak

Modernism between the Wars, Hungarian literature of the northern regions, and in Slovakia, the history and current status of the Hungarian minority, Slovak-Hungarian political relations since 1920, etc. This is a great opportunity to explore the often fractious, sometimes harmonious and always fertile relations of these two peoples, who, as we know from recent research, are genetically indistinguishable from each other.

Finally, Hamvas’ theme of “closeness to nature” could also be addressed. Discussions of Hungary/Hungarians and the natural world, environmentalism, and/or themes of nature in Hungarian literature and culture would be of particular interest, as would presentations that explore Hungarian relations with, and experiences in, Canada.

Though we strongly encourage proposals that speak to the conference theme, we will also consider proposals on any topic related to Hungary and Hungarian Studies. The Hungarian Studies Association of Canada also supports and encourages both creative and critical scholarly engagement within and across disciplines.

Proposals should include a maximum 300-word abstract and a brief 100-word bio that can be used to introduce the speaker. Since both the abstract and the bio will be published online, they should be prepared in Word format using Times New Roman, 12-point font. Abstracts should be sent electronically both to the Chair of the Program Committee, Steven Jobbitt ( ) and to the Vice-President of HSAC,Christopher Adam ( Proposals are preferred in English or French but will also be accepted in Hungarian if an English language abstract is also provided.

Presentations at the conference are no longer than 20 minutes with an additional 5-10 minutes for discussion. The deadline for submission is February 1, 2021. We will notify authors of the Committee’s decisions no later than February 20, 2021.

The HSAC Conference Program Committee for 2020 is chaired by Steve Jobbitt of
Lakehead University. The other members are:

Christopher Adam (Carleton University)
Oliver Botar (University of Manitoba)
Roman Holec (Comenius University)
Orsolya Kis (Eötvös Loránd University)
Mária Palasik (Historical Archives of the Hungarian State Security)
Agatha Schwartz (University of Ottawa)

Conference Details

The virtual sessions for our conference will be scheduled between 9:00am and 4:00pm
Mountain Time, which is 11:00am-6:00pm Eastern Standard Time, and 5:00pm-midnight Central European Time. There is a Congress Fee as well as an Association Fee for all HSAC conference participants. The Regular Early Bird Congress Fee is $140 (after April 1 it is $165), and the Retired/Student/Unwaged Early Bird Fee is $50 (after April 1 it is $70). The HSAC Association Fee is $35. All amounts are in Canadian dollars.

Congress Theme: “Northern Relations”

As one of Canada’s major northward-facing research institutions, the University of Alberta will invite Congress delegates to turn their attention to the North, and invite northern peoples—Indigenous and non-Indigenous—to lead the conversation. As a theme, “Northern Relations” encourages delegates to explore the connections between peoples, communities, cultures, and ways of knowing, while also listening to those voices that speak directly to some of the most pressing matters of relation (to the land, to each other) in the North: climate change, governance, social justice, reconciliation, reciprocity, education, and much more. A relation is not only an association and an affiliation, it is also an act of telling or reporting; relations are at the heart of how peoples communicate, organize knowledge, and understand their place in the world. Edmonton, for thousands of years a traditional gathering place for diverse Indigenous peoples, is an ideal location to consider not only relations across the North, but also relations between the North and the South.

Join us to listen, learn, and relate.
For more information on Congress 2021, see: